I signed up this year for a professional mentorship program with our local MLIS candidates, and the student I was paired up with asked me for some things she could read about health sciences librarianship to get a sense of the field.
I immediately thought some interesting medical library blogs would be a good place to start. Because my student is on the ball, when I brought up blogs she mentioned she’d been to my website, and diplomatically informed me that I hadn’t posted in ages. So I resolved to find her a list of much superior health library blogs, and then blog about it myself so that my own blog would stop being so lame.
Naturally, my first thought was to consult the amazing collective intelligence that is our health library listserv hive brain. I sent out an email on both the CANMEDLIB (Canadian Medical Libraries Listserv) and the MEDLIB (Medical Libraries Discussion List) listservs, asking everyone what blogs they found interesting or would help give students an idea of our field. Here is a summary of the blogs (in no particular order) that were recommended to me. A less detailed summary of this list was sent out to the listservs as well.
Krafty Librarian (*Most Mentioned*)
- Written by Michelle Kraft (Senior Medical Librarian at the Cleveland Clinic Alumni Library and current Medical Library Association President) & Guests
- Microblogging more your steam? Check her out on Twitter: @Krafty
Interestingly, Michelle Kraft has lined up a number of guest bloggers to continue posting on her blog while she is busy with her Presidential duties for MLA. What a cool idea!
A Librarian by Any Other Name (*Most Mentioned*)
- Written by Sally Gore (Research Evaluation Analyst, UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science at UMass Medical School)
- Twitter handle: @mandosally
- Written by Joe Hardenbrook (Reference and Instruction librarian at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin)
- Twitter handle: @mrlibrarydude
Though he hasn’t blogged since October of last year, Joe Hardenbrook is very active on Twitter, and also has some timeless gems about preparing for library interviews and advice on becoming a librarian. This blog is definitely worth checking out!
- Written by Mark Maceachern (Informationist at the Taubman Health Sciences Library, University of Michigan)
- Twitter handle: @markmac
Mark MacEachern’s blog is an interesting mix of posts about systematic reviews, evidence-based medicine, art, music and more.
- Written by Rachel Walden (Associate Dean, Department of Learning Resources, Quillen College of Medicine)
- Twitter handle: @rachel_w
As with several of the other bloggers, while her last post is almost a year old, Rachel Walden is very active on twitter. As the name suggests, this is a passionate blog about women’s health issues, and Walden deals with some tough topics on her blog.
- Community blog written by Medical Library Association members, sections, chapters, committees etc as well as other health information organizations
- Twitter handle: @MedLibAssn (I should note here that this handle is for the whole association, not exclusively for the blog – as far as I can tell there isn’t a specific twitter account for this blog)
Created in March of 2015 to discuss the MLA strategic plan and generate conversation. According to their main descriptive post, they welcome submissions about “how you’re living out the principles of change, growth, and innovation. Tell us about what’s going on in your chapter or region, what your section or SIG is doing, or how you’re moving things forward in your own library” (Lund, 2015).
- Written by Nikki Detmar (Health Sciences Curriculum Design Librarian at the University of Washington)
- Twitter handle: @eagledawg
In addition to being a great blog, Nikki Detmar’s blogroll (bottom left hand side of page) was also highlighted as a good source for Medical Library blogs. You’ll recognize quite a few from this post, but also a number of other blogs that I haven’t yet had the chance to explore. Absolutely worth checking out.
- Written by Lisa Federer (Research Data Informationist, NIH Library,
National Institutes of Health)
- Twitter handle: @lisafederer
This recommendation was one of my favourites. I’m sorry to bias things (I remained coolly neutral in my summarized email to the medlib listservs – notice how I’ve even put this one in the middle so as not to over-privilege it?), but personally I found it the perfect combination of humour/topics/interests for me.
- Coordinated by Bobbi Newman
- Twitter handle: @bobbinewman
This blog actually stopped posting in 2012, but is archived for your reading pleasure! This was a blog project in which “librarians, library staff and library students from all over the globe shared a day (or week) in their life through blog posts, photos, video and Twitter updates” (Newman, 2012), and was recommended as a potentially useful resource for aspiring librarians/information specialists.
- This blog isn’t focused solely on medical librarianship, but is rather a community blog “by, for, and about” MLIS students, covering also sorts of topics.
- Twitter handle: @hacklibschool
This was an interesting description that I received about this blog, and thought I’d preserve it for this post: “I actually really like HackMyLibrarySchool as a reader, but as a professor have cringed quite a few times when I read the evident misconceptions that a lot of students have about the general MLS, let alone any specializations within the MLS. I tend to see HackMLS as a representation of what students think — for good and bad.”
More Medical Library Blogs:
Looking for more? Here’s a list from the LIS Wiki: http://liswiki.org/wiki/Weblogs_-_Medical_Librarianship
Health Sciences Library Books:
Some books were also recommended by listservers:
- Ennis, L., & Mitchell, N. (2010). The accidental health sciences librarian. Medford, N.J.: Information Today, Inc.
- Wood, M. (2014). Health sciences librarianship. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Lund, E. (2015). Full Speed Ahead Now Open for Submissions. Retrieved from http://www.mlanet.org/blog/full-speed-ahead-now-open-for-submissions
Newman, B. (2012). Library Day in the Life Project. Retrieved from http://librarydayinthelife.pbworks.com/w/page/16941198/FrontPage